With the constant rise of digital technologies and fading pandemic, the world of eCommerce has grown and evolved rapidly over the past two years. The fashion industry has not been left behind, and the emergence of new eCommerce marketplaces for fashion has revolutionized the way people shop for clothes and accessories. In 2021, the eCommerce fashion market in Europe generated a revenue of approximately 213.4 billion USD. What’s more, it is expected to surpass the revenue of 365.9 billion USD in 2025.
In this article, we will explore the reasons for the popularity of online fashion marketplaces, as well as the 2023 trends in this industry, and give examples of the most popular marketplace platforms focused on fashion and apparel. Firstly, let’s take a look at the concept of the online marketplace to know where we stand.
What is an online marketplace?
To put it simply, an online marketplace is a platform that enables to sell products or services to customers by third-party vendors. Everything happens on a single website. This business model can be compared to the shopping mall owner offering to rent a space in the building for independent shops selling their products. eCommerce marketplaces can offer a variety of products or services as well as specialize in a particular category. In this case – fashion.
Why is the online marketplace great for the fashion industry?
As previously mentioned, the fashion industry has evolved over the years, with eCommerce marketplaces leading the way in revolutionizing how fashion is consumed. eCommerce marketplaces offer several advantages to the fashion industry, making them an excellent platform for fashion businesses. First and foremost, selling products on a marketplace platform is cost-effective. Budget is a crucial factor, especially for smaller brands and businesses. In such cases, establishing an online store or physical retail space is out of their reach or just unprofitable; thus, online marketplaces are a great solution for them to sell products.
Secondly, marketplaces offer a ready-made customer base, providing access to millions of potential customers who are already searching for fashion products. Due to that, online marketplaces allow fashion businesses to reach a wider audience and gain potential customers easily.
Thirdly, they allow a faster buying process at any time in comparison to brick-and-mortar stores and provide a safe and secure environment for online transactions, ensuring that new online store owners can operate with confidence and trust.
To sum it up, online marketplaces offer a great opportunity for new fashion stores to establish themselves and succeed in the highly competitive fashion industry. However, it is also a great solution for more experienced businesses that want to expand their customer base and sell globally.
How to choose the right online marketplace?
When choosing the right online marketplace for your business, it is essential to consider several factors to ensure you make the best decision for your brand. Choosing the wrong marketplace can lead to wasted time and resources, while the right one can provide a significant boost to a business’s revenue.
First of all, it is worth researching the marketplace’s reputation and user base, as this will give an idea of the level of exposure your brand can get. Additionally, it will show if the marketplace is reliable and safe.
Second of all, consider the marketplace fees and costs associated with different marketplaces. Some require minimum operating costs, and some can have relatively big marketplace fees, which can be a dealbreaker for small businesses. By analyzing these factors, businesses can determine which marketplace is best to achieve their goal, whether they are, for instance, seeking to penetrate a new market or achieve long-term growth.
Next, look into the platform’s features and design. Make sure that the eCommerce platform is easy to use (both for the online sellers and customers) and has a user-friendly interface. Moreover, it is worth checking if the website is optimized for all device types.
Last but not least, consider your target customers, as different marketplaces attract different customers. For example, if your target customers are young adults who are tech-savvy and prefer to shop online, you may want to consider other marketplaces that emphasize a mobile-first approach and the use of social media.
By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and find the right online marketplace that exactly suits your needs.
OpenMarketplace by BitBag
Drawing upon our years-long experience in eCommerce and the development of numerous MVM projects on top of open-source software, we decided to create MIT license-based multi-vendor eCommerce platform that will meet the needs of even the most advanced businesses. Due to that, OpenMarketplace is a fully scalable and customizable solution, covering a substantial amount of features that are necessary to utilize the potential of multi-vendor eCommerce platforms. Moreover, despite its many functionalities, OpenMarketplace is very intuitive and easy to use.
Built on top of PHP, Symfony framework, and Sylius platform, it offers the performance and flexibility to provide the best experience both for business owners and customers.
- Vendors registration & management
- Headless support
- Conversations between the vendor and the administrator
- Adding listings
- Listings management
- Orders management
- Shipping management
Top fashion eCommerce trends in 2023
With the introduction of new technologies and changing consumer preferences, the fashion eCommerce landscape is constantly evolving. There are several exciting fashion eCommerce trends that are set to dominate the industry. Here are some of the trends that are certainly worth looking into in order to better understand the fashion industry and its customers.
Artificial intelligence in-game
With the advancements in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a great help in improving customer experience and streamlining various processes regarding eCommerce. In the case of the fashion industry, eCommerce stores and marketplaces are increasingly integrating Augmented Reality (AR) that enables customers to visualize how clothes and accessories will look on them before making a purchase. Another popular use of AI in this industry is personalized product recommendations and marketing campaigns, thanks to analyzing customer preferences and behavior.
Social commerce refers to the use of social media platforms to sell products directly to consumers. Nowadays, platforms like Facebook and Instagram play an important role in the marketing strategy of many fashion-related brands or businesses. This approach allows leveraging the massive reach of social media to showcase their products and expand the customer base. As these platforms continue to be present in most people’s lives, social commerce is likely to become a key part of the fashion industry’s marketing and sales strategies.
Sustainability and ethical fashion
As a result of green consumerism and the increasing importance of environmental protection, more brands are seeking sustainable and ethical alternatives to avoid excessive use of water, the release of harmful chemicals, and greenhouse gas emissions. Brands are responding to this demand by adopting eco-friendly production methods, using renewable materials, and ensuring fair labor practices throughout their supply chains. Beyond the environmental and social benefits, ethical fashion also offers unique and stylish designs that reflect the values of conscious consumers.
The increased popularity of resale
In recent years, resale has become a global phenomenon. The global secondhand apparel market is expected to reach 218 billion USD by the end of 2026. Naturally, this trend is related to the growing consumer desire for sustainability and affordability in fashion. By purchasing secondhand items through online marketplaces and resale platforms, shoppers can reduce their environmental footprint while also saving money. Additionally, the resale market offers a wider range of options for consumers to choose from, including vintage and rare items that may not be available through traditional retail channels. As a result, many fashion eCommerce companies have begun to integrate resale into their business models, recognizing the importance of sustainability in today’s market.
Benefits of running an online marketplace
To better understand the new wave of online marketplaces focused on fashion, here are the advantages of this solution that encourage people to set up their own marketplace:
Reduced operational costs
The first benefit of running an online marketplace is operational costs that are lower than in the case of brick-and-mortar stores as a result of no rent, utilities, etc. What’s more, the marketplace owner does not have to spend resources to manage the online stores (for example, managing product categories and product descriptions), as they are the responsibility of the vendors.
Unlike traditional retail stores, eCommerce marketplaces do not require physical space for inventory and can operate without any restrictions on the number of products they offer. This means that they can add a large number of products to their inventory without incurring additional costs. Furthermore, eCommerce marketplaces have a built-in network effect, where the more buyers and marketplace sellers that join the platform, the more valuable it becomes for everyone. This means that as the marketplace grows, it becomes more attractive to new customers, which can lead to a further increase in traffic and sales.
Increased customer reach
An eCommerce marketplace can attract a large customer base, which can lead to increased revenue and brand recognition for the marketplace owner. eCommerce marketplaces can easily reach a large number of customers globally through digital marketing and social media platforms, which is a great help in expanding online business and gaining potential clients.
Examples of eCommerce fashion marketplaces
There are many options available when considering selling fashion-related products. Online marketplaces are a great place to start, as they provide a platform for you to showcase and sell your products to a wider audience. These marketplaces have a significant customer base and can help you reach customers across different regions.
Here are some of them that may be used to start selling online:
Despite starting as a shoe marketplace in Germany, Zalando is one of the most popular eCommerce fashion platforms that feature products from over 2,500 brands, offering a diverse range of styles and price points. It operates on 23 European markets and has over 48 million active users.
ASOS is a UK-based online fashion retailer that offers a wide range of products, from clothes and shoes to beauty products and accessories, for both men and women. It was founded in 2000 and has since grown to become one of the largest online fashion retailers in the world, with a presence in around 200 countries.
Founded just 8 years ago, this marketplace is one of the faster growing online marketplaces in Europe. It offers products from over 3,500 brands and operates in 26 markets.
Amazon is one of the most popular online shopping platforms in the world, fighting for a title with giants like Chinese online marketplace Alibaba. Despite the fact that it is not an exclusive fashion and apparel marketplace, it is still a very attractive place for fashion brands to sell online and gain new customers from all over the world.
Farfetch is a global online marketplace that connects fashion lovers with independent boutiques and luxury brands from around the world. By offering numerous products from hundreds of boutique partners worldwide, Farfetch is a leading player in the online luxury fashion market, offering a unique shopping experience for fashion enthusiasts.
eCommerce marketplaces became a great business model for everyone, especially businesses that revolve around the fashion industry. By setting new trends and establishing more marketplaces, the fashion industry is dominating online sales. If you are considering entering this market, maybe it is just the time to do it.
If you want to discuss about your project, contact us! We are an eCommerce software development partner to hire.